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Author Topic: My new game.  (Read 23157 times)
Starblade
Member

Posts: 48


« on: December 28, 2005, 09:36:16 PM »

I was planning on making a game called Gaterunners. I have some of the game mechanics and some of the game settings. The interesting thing about this game will be how it blends science fiction and fantasy aspects of the game. I was thinking of making this as different from DnD as possible while still maintaining the same functionality. That is, I'll fiddle with things like skills, items, and classes, while completely changing the races, maps, and theme. Those aren't the only things I'm changing. I'm just giving an example.

To give a glimpse of the things I'm adding completely, I'm thinking of adding these things to it:

Part 1. The ebb and the flow. I will add a field effect that response inversely as you cast an ebb or flow spell. The more ebb spells cast, the stronger the flow will be in that area, and vice versa. Likewise, the type of magic in the area affects the life, whereas the type of spell cast affects you. Casting an ebb spell will make you turn more ebb but drain the area of its flow, thus making future flow spells more powerful. Furthermore, everything around you will turn more flow, which makes it hostile to ebb. Now at first you will mostly be using flow spells, but over time you will balance it with ebb spells, perhaps overbalancing at first, but then balancing equally later.

Part 2. Planetary facilities. Each planet will have unique facilities which give you things that aid your party. I've described this in another thread. However, I'll describe this here too. On the fire planet, the collection of highly flammable gasses, and possibly material, will be emphasizes. On the water planet, the collection of water, for farming and for lubrication, will be emphasized. On the life planet, the genetic alteration of the party, otherwise known as changes in stats, will be emphasized. On the spirit planet, the disciplining and honing of your spirit will be emphasized. On the air planet, the collection of energy in both magic and technological forms will be emphasized. On the earth planet, the storage and documenting of typical futuristic items will be emphasized. On each world there are various sizes of technolgical and magical databases, and various troop, weapon, armor, item, vehicle, and even magic testing and training will occur.

Part 3. Strategy. I will somehow make it possible for large armies to be used in the game. Probably up to 1000, but maybe more. The grid size will accomidate the larger than normal groups, and the dice will be rolled differently. I might make a new dice for this, as 100 will probably not be enough. I will make morale and discipline be factors of the army, and I will make it so that you roll for batallions rather than individuals. Furthermore, I won't ignore the role that magic and technology will play. I hope to make this close enough to real battle so that if I make this into a video game, there won't be anything lacking. At least, not as far as anyone could tell.

You see how much thought has been put into this? If you want a link to information like this - possibly conflicting information but we'll be using this version - then I will post a link for you. However, as I want to make this as simple as possible, I'll wait until later to post the links.

The races, of course, will be as follows: Armadillo for fire planet, Otter for water planet, Monkey for life planet, Lizard for spirit planet, Bird for air planet, Gargoyle for earth planet. Each will have their own stats. There will be no baseline character, which is difficult for some, but easy enough for me, as all the characters will be unique.

Oh, yeah, and there are six worlds and a nexus each linked by a bunch of gates.

So, what do you think?
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joepub
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 569

Joe Thomas McDonald


« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2005, 12:13:44 AM »

Welcome to The Forge!
Do you have a real name we can call you by? Short of having had really eccentric hippy parents, I assume Starblade isn't your real name. (oh god, if it is I apologize!!!)

First and foremost: you describe mechanical elements to your game, but a lot of what The Forge stresses is the why behind these mechanical elements. The premise of your game.
Two very important articles that helped me when I joined:
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=5564.0
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=16996.msg180335#msg180335

I, personally, would like to know a little bit more about your design goals for this game: what is its purpose?
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joepub
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 569

Joe Thomas McDonald


« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2005, 12:37:05 AM »

Quote
Part 1. The ebb and the flow. I will add a field effect that response inversely as you cast an ebb or flow spell. The more ebb spells cast, the stronger the flow will be in that area, and vice versa. Likewise, the type of magic in the area affects the life, whereas the type of spell cast affects you. Casting an ebb spell will make you turn more ebb but drain the area of its flow, thus making future flow spells more powerful. Furthermore, everything around you will turn more flow, which makes it hostile to ebb. Now at first you will mostly be using flow spells, but over time you will balance it with ebb spells, perhaps overbalancing at first, but then balancing equally later.

Although this needs some working with to make sure you don't end up with a "broken" system, I really like this concept of the game. But then,  after re-reading, I wonder if this system detracts from your focus?

You seem to stress facilities of supplies, large strategic numbers, and wanting to create realistic battles.While the ebb and flow thing is my favourite part, does it get in the way of having effective large battles?

Does it bog it down too much? You're already keeping score of casualties, etc.



Quote
I hope to make this close enough to real battle so that if I make this into a video game, there won't be anything lacking. At least, not as far as anyone could tell.

Umm.... Does anyone else want to respond to this? It's sounding to me to be more like a strategy wargame than anything at this point. But I don't know.
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Justin Marx
Member

Posts: 88


« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2005, 01:11:44 AM »

I agree with the strategy wargame comment - don't get me wrong, I love the notion of having layers of gameplay, normal character driven play on the one level, that then influences a larger strategic game (battles, colonisation, all that good stuff). The question is, how much value are you putting on the strategy level on character driven play? If it is ever-present, that is a LOT of book-keeping. So basically, how are these two things interrelated? I would love to see a game that had these two scales of gameplay work complementarily and seamlessly - but I have never seen anything that came close to the mark on this.

I think your notion to make magic different from D&D preconceptions is laudable, as is the way you want to tie it into sci-fi without juxtaposing it aimlessly (I am trying to do similar myself). Might I recommend an article that some other Forgites sent me when I was thinking about magic systems - it is very very good and should be read by everyone who is designing such a system:

http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/magic/antiscience.html

Also, another couple of articles that I found useful, especially when tackling this sort of concept, are Ron's essays on Fantasy Heartbreakers (it almost broke my heart when I realised the sci-fi/fantasy crossover I was making was indeed, such a heartbreaker.... and a lot of good work has come out of that realisation):
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/9/
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/10/

Otherwise, some more information on what the players/GM/characters/system etc. does would be good. As per joepubs links.
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daMoose_Neo
Member

Posts: 890


WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2005, 05:19:47 AM »

A good exercise to help answering some of the questions that undoubtedly will be cropping up can be found at the top of the Game Design Forum here: a fictional text of interaction between a set of players and a GM.
What do the players, as humans in the real world, DO while playing? Do they simply take in the GM's word and respond occasionally? How proactive are they? How many points do they want to do something must they consult the system to see if it happens? And likewise with the GM: What kind of overarching powers does he/she have? How much authority does he/she hold? Just a sample clip of the dialouge would be great, doesn't need to be a blow for blow account of all die rolls and everything involved, but a good structure to it will show us, and possibly even you, where things are needed and what is needed to ensure a smooth interaction.
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Nate Petersen / daMoose
Neo Productions Unlimited! Publisher of Final Twilight card game, Imp Game RPG, and more titles to come!
Troy_Costisick
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Posts: 802


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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2005, 05:41:27 AM »

Heya Starblade,

Welcome to the Forge!  I wouldn't worry about the whole Heartbreaker thing yet.  In fact, I'd advise putting the whole thing out of your head for right now.

From what I've read, you've got the beginings of a game that sounds like a whole heck of a lot of fun to play.  I totally dig your spell system.  I think that's a key feature of your game.  I would encourage you to emphasise it greatly, perhaps more than any other facet of your system.

Now, I've got a few good ideas about some of the mechanics you plan to use- niffty spell system, multiple and wildly different planets with monolithic environments, and combat on a large scale.  Kind of a mix between Birthright and Planescape, which isn't a bad thing!  I have three questions I typically ask newer desiginers just to get the ball rolling.  Perhaps you could answer them for me :)

1.  What is your game really about?  Like if you had to sum up what the point of play in your game is in a paragraph or two, what would it be?

2.  What do the characters do?  I don't want an answer like "go on adventures" or "level up" or anything like that.  What I want to know is what the characters do in your game that is unique to your game.

3.  What do the players do?  What the characters do in the game setting is one thing, but I also want to know what freedoms, responsiblities, and challenges your game assigns to the players.  How much narrative power do they have?  Do they set the agenda or does the GM set the agenda for the campaign?  Stuff like that.

I look forward to discussing more of your game as we go. :)

Peace,

-Troy
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Starblade
Member

Posts: 48


« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2005, 01:20:37 PM »

Heya Starblade,

Welcome to the Forge!  I wouldn't worry about the whole Heartbreaker thing yet.  In fact, I'd advise putting the whole thing out of your head for right now.

From what I've read, you've got the beginings of a game that sounds like a whole heck of a lot of fun to play.  I totally dig your spell system.  I think that's a key feature of your game.  I would encourage you to emphasise it greatly, perhaps more than any other facet of your system.

You do? That's cool.

Basically so far all I have is the effect it has on the environment and the effect it has on the character. As you've probably read, they are opposite. So far the only thing I can remember that I left out is the part where it's described how it affects the environment. I was thinking of making it default to affecting everything within a radius of the player, which is determined by the level, which means the higher level you are, the more you can spread out the effects, and the less likely that a creature will be affected near to you, though the general likelyness is about the same. As for you, the effect on you of using a spell with the ebb or flow property is to have that energy on you. The emnity of having a character with, say, flow, and the environment with, say, ebb, is something I definately want to emphasize.

Also each spell will have a number associated with it, which describes how much ebb or flow, if any, is moved around. Like, if it was a 0, nothing would happen ebb or flow wise, but if it was a +1, you'd have 1 unit of flow on you and take 1 unit of flow away from the environment, making it 1 unit of ebb higher, and likewise, for -1, you'd have 1 unit of ebb on you, and take 1 unit of ebb away from the environment, making it 1 unit of flow higher.

Quote
Now, I've got a few good ideas about some of the mechanics you plan to use- niffty spell system, multiple and wildly different planets with monolithic environments, and combat on a large scale.  Kind of a mix between Birthright and Planescape, which isn't a bad thing!  I have three questions I typically ask newer desiginers just to get the ball rolling.  Perhaps you could answer them for me :)

Sure thing.

Quote
1.  What is your game really about?  Like if you had to sum up what the point of play in your game is in a paragraph or two, what would it be?

The game is set in a SF/F setting, but I'm sure you already know that. It's about the forces of change, their impact on the balance of the ebb and flow, and about the effect of the gates, and how they change how civilization advances. The nexus is really only accessible to the six main characters and whoever they so chose to bring along with them. However, each gate is timed for open and close. I'll explain this more in the next question.

Quote
2.  What do the characters do?  I don't want an answer like "go on adventures" or "level up" or anything like that.  What I want to know is what the characters do in your game that is unique to your game.

It really depends on if you want to play freeform or scenario. Either way, you have to deal with the 'monsters' that come through the gates. The gates, as I said before, are open and closed depending on where it is on its harmonic function. You can rest safely while it's closed, while going out adventuring in other worlds while it's open. However, if you are the six main characters and their party, you have the AI program's help in controlling the gates.

If you want to know more about the main character's quest, I'll tell you. They have access to the facilities, and can USE them, rather than just maintain them, which is what the NPCs do, or if you want to play as them, your character in a freeform game. I've described the facilities, and how they work together with the nexus at times. The nexus is what is used to try to communicate with the ancients, and otherwise house the party, not completely safe, but safer than when adventuring.

Quote
3.  What do the players do?  What the characters do in the game setting is one thing, but I also want to know what freedoms, responsiblities, and challenges your game assigns to the players.  How much narrative power do they have?  Do they set the agenda or does the GM set the agenda for the campaign?  Stuff like that.

It really depends on how you want to play it, whether you want to play it freeform or scenario. You can pretty much do what you want in freeform, and you can probably get away with ignoring the things that are going wrong in the worlds. However in scenario, the GM has more power, but the rest of the power over the party is in the campaign settings. You get to chose what to do, but you have the AI program to tell you what you should do, which agrees with what is happening in the rest of the world. Since the GM plays the hologram, that gives the GM power over what the hologram says, though that doesn't negate the responsibility to the rest of the world.

Quote
I look forward to discussing more of your game as we go. :)

Peace,

-Troy

Really? This is so cool. I've tried getting people interested in my game offline, and they weren't interested. I know I'm lacking in some areas, most particular in that the freeform setting is too lax and the scenario setting is too strict, or something like that, but with a bit of help I'm sure that and other things can be fixed.
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dindenver
Member

Posts: 928

Don't Panic!


WWW
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2005, 02:00:48 PM »

Hi!
  Well, a couple of things come to my mind:
1) Why armadillo? Seems like Salamander or an energy based being might be more appropriate...
2) OK, The elemental thing is cool, but you might be approaching it with too narrow of a scope. You said you want to have/include a strategic game, but there is no conflict between the worlds and no common ground either. Consider making the planets more diverse. Maybe the fire world is only 40% armadillos and the rest is split between the others. they are still the dominant species, but the otters rule the small lakes and seas that dot the fire world. Maybe the armadillos oppress the otters, maybe they ignore them, maybe they revere them forr the abilities the armadillos do not possess...
3) More word choice isues: Life. Calling one planet the Life Planet implies that the other planets are lifeless. Wood is acceptable as an element. Or barring that chlorophyl?
4) Wel, think about the whole strategic combat thing. Most games I have played ignore the strategic options. Furthermore, Strategic game play can minimize a single character's role in the battle. Was it your character that won the day or the 100's who lost there lives in the battle?
5) Consider adding a robot race, either connected or not connected to the AI. Would be fun to play a highly specialized and focused character
6) Consider more advanture ideas. The game description so far sounds like a great description for a Video Game, but seems to have limited possibilities for role playing. What do the characters do besides rest, repair and buy stuff between gate intervals? Adding a little more backstory and history to your game world will add all kinds of possibilities. Maybe the Otter player needs to assess Fire World technology during his next visit to the fire world station...
7) Consider adding other worlds to the cluster that these rival governments might want to control for their resources...
8) If you can broaden the scope of the backstory, the players might be interested in playing roles that aren't the six heroes of the cluster...
9) What about half-breeds? Is there such a thing as a half-Otter? It might be interesting to explore the character conflicts of being torn between two worlds...
10) Think about adding more layers of complexity to your elemental theme. As an example, did you know that the four houses of Hogwarts are based on the elemenats? Many people do not, because there are so many layers between the idea and the presentation. And those layers add diversity, opportunity and mystery. If Rowling had just said, Slytherin is the house based on the element of water, everyone would have yawned them away. But when you add all the other layers on top, they become an enigma...
  Anyways, it seems like you have the basis for a very good game, just feels too much loke a board game or video game to me so far, but you have a lot of great stuff to build off of, good luck!
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
My blog
Free Demo
Starblade
Member

Posts: 48


« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2005, 03:59:40 PM »

Hi!
  Well, a couple of things come to my mind:
1) Why armadillo? Seems like Salamander or an energy based being might be more appropriate...
2) OK, The elemental thing is cool, but you might be approaching it with too narrow of a scope. You said you want to have/include a strategic game, but there is no conflict between the worlds and no common ground either. Consider making the planets more diverse. Maybe the fire world is only 40% armadillos and the rest is split between the others. they are still the dominant species, but the otters rule the small lakes and seas that dot the fire world. Maybe the armadillos oppress the otters, maybe they ignore them, maybe they revere them forr the abilities the armadillos do not possess...
3) More word choice isues: Life. Calling one planet the Life Planet implies that the other planets are lifeless. Wood is acceptable as an element. Or barring that chlorophyl?
4) Wel, think about the whole strategic combat thing. Most games I have played ignore the strategic options. Furthermore, Strategic game play can minimize a single character's role in the battle. Was it your character that won the day or the 100's who lost there lives in the battle?
5) Consider adding a robot race, either connected or not connected to the AI. Would be fun to play a highly specialized and focused character
6) Consider more advanture ideas. The game description so far sounds like a great description for a Video Game, but seems to have limited possibilities for role playing. What do the characters do besides rest, repair and buy stuff between gate intervals? Adding a little more backstory and history to your game world will add all kinds of possibilities. Maybe the Otter player needs to assess Fire World technology during his next visit to the fire world station...
7) Consider adding other worlds to the cluster that these rival governments might want to control for their resources...
8) If you can broaden the scope of the backstory, the players might be interested in playing roles that aren't the six heroes of the cluster...
9) What about half-breeds? Is there such a thing as a half-Otter? It might be interesting to explore the character conflicts of being torn between two worlds...
10) Think about adding more layers of complexity to your elemental theme. As an example, did you know that the four houses of Hogwarts are based on the elemenats? Many people do not, because there are so many layers between the idea and the presentation. And those layers add diversity, opportunity and mystery. If Rowling had just said, Slytherin is the house based on the element of water, everyone would have yawned them away. But when you add all the other layers on top, they become an enigma...
  Anyways, it seems like you have the basis for a very good game, just feels too much loke a board game or video game to me so far, but you have a lot of great stuff to build off of, good luck!


Okay. I'll try to answer your comments and such.

1. The thing is, the fire world is a desert world. If you wish me to describe the worlds in more detail, I will.
2. There are gates connecting the worlds. This is where most of the conflict is, at least for now. The races will have more conflict with eachother as their technological level increases and are more able to bear life on the other world.
3. That's a good point. However, there IS more life on that planet. The other ones aren't lifeless, but don't boast the diversity of life that the life planet does. I was thinking of going with nature, but that raises the same problems. At any rate, once I give the planets by their 'proper' names, there won't be any issue.
4. It would be a combination of the forces. The higher level characters couldn't have done it alone, nor the 100s who were with them.
5. I was thinking the exact same thing. The AI program could start off with a hologram that looks like a robot, just for the convenience of the party, but later gain a form, and possibly create an army.
6. I haven't even gone into detail about the history, but I have something resembling a history written up. There will be the main quest, the one I described, the subquests, which are personal quests that involve individual characters, and there will be side quests, the typical off the wall quests that are more for exp gaining than for advancing the storyline.
7. I've thought of that, but there are plenty of resources on the planets. I was thinking of adding a very proto-earth like planet, which needs to be terraformed, and the facilities there are for terraforming. This would make an interesting miniquest.
8. I was planning on making the cultures of these species each resemble one of the cultures of Earth.
9. I doubt there will be half breeds. However, with the genetic engineering thing on the life world, I suppose you could create one. However, they wouldn't exist naturally.
10. As I've said before, each world has a different dominant culture. The themes will be layered, but I don't know how many layers yet. I've only come up with two so far.

Also, thanks for your advice, and optimism. I will take them to heart. ^_^
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Blankshield
Member

Posts: 407


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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2005, 04:16:38 PM »

Heya Starblade,

Quick question for you, sort-of as an add-on to the three Troy asked:

What do you]/i] think is the coolest thing about your game?  What is the thing that keeps you wanting to work on it, when you get no interest from other people?  Because that's your focus, and should be the core of your game.  The stuff that keeps your interest, is what is going to get your best attention, and the bulk of the work, so make that the bulk of the game.  Your game will be the better for it, I promise.

Now, I'm going to hazard a guess here, but you keep mentioning how it can be played freeform or scenario... is one of those more appealing to you, or do you keep flip-flopping back and forth?

James
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I write games. My games don't have much in common with each other, except that I wrote them.

http://www.blankshieldpress.com/
Starblade
Member

Posts: 48


« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2005, 04:50:54 PM »

Heya Starblade,

Quick question for you, sort-of as an add-on to the three Troy asked:

What do you]/i] think is the coolest thing about your game?  What is the thing that keeps you wanting to work on it, when you get no interest from other people?  Because that's your focus, and should be the core of your game.  The stuff that keeps your interest, is what is going to get your best attention, and the bulk of the work, so make that the bulk of the game.  Your game will be the better for it, I promise.

Now, I'm going to hazard a guess here, but you keep mentioning how it can be played freeform or scenario... is one of those more appealing to you, or do you keep flip-flopping back and forth?

James

I don't know if there's any one thing I like best about the game. I started just liking the idea of having a fire world, water world, et cetera, but as the game progressed my interest was more spread out. So it's hard to say what I liked the best. I think the thing I liked was just that I was going to make the game different from others. Those three things I mentioned are my attempts at making a unique game.

As for the freeform/scenario thing, I prefer the scenario more, but I know that most people don't play it that way so, as an option, I let them play it freeform. However, with what's going on in the world, the scenario makes more sense in the long run.

As I wish to keep this discussion focused on the elements I brought up, I won't go into detail about the aspects of the game I haven't mentioned. I will say, however, that I plan on using some different classes in the game. If you'd like to hear about one of them for which I've been looking for a proper name, then I will tell you.
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dindenver
Member

Posts: 928

Don't Panic!


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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2005, 04:56:01 PM »

Hi!
  OK, that sounds cool, there are two points I want to revisit though:
Quote
2. There are gates connecting the worlds. This is where most of the conflict is, at least for now. The races will have more conflict with eachother as their technological level increases and are more able to bear life on the other world.

  OK, so I wasn't off the wall with the idea that the planets were at odds with each other. So, what I was trinyg to say is: What do Otters want with a Fire World? What's the point of any strategic-level conflict? Sure there can and should be philosophical differences, but are they so strong that one side or the other would go to war? There may be rare resources, but those are useless if you can't live there to gather them. If the worlds aren't so exreme, its more plausible that the winners could live there when they achieve that victory. I think cross-pollenated races on each of the main planets would raise interesting political, social and roleplaying issues as well. Say, on the Fire world there is a colony of Otters from a war from over 200 years ago. They exist peacefully with the armadillos and would defend the fire planet from invaders. Take a look at the Saxon invasion of England to get an idea of invading cultures clashing and meshing with defenders cultures.

Quote
4. It would be a combination of the forces. The higher level characters couldn't have done it alone, nor the 100s who were with them.

  Right, that is the answer anyone would expect from a strategic engagement. BUT, the game is about the PLAYER's characters. In a board game where the player is not invested in the past or future of any one character, it is great to see the interplay between hero characters and swarms. But in an RPG, the emphasis is on the individual and their efforts. I am not saying the war has to be won or lost by them, but that the story you are telling should be ABOUT them.

  I am not sure if I am right, but that was my gut instinct when I saw that. Sounds like there is a lot more in your head that needs to be put to paper, maybe you should concentrate on that for a bit while these ideas fly around the forums?
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
My blog
Free Demo
Starblade
Member

Posts: 48


« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2005, 05:13:41 PM »

Hi!
  OK, that sounds cool, there are two points I want to revisit though:
Quote
2. There are gates connecting the worlds. This is where most of the conflict is, at least for now. The races will have more conflict with eachother as their technological level increases and are more able to bear life on the other world.

  OK, so I wasn't off the wall with the idea that the planets were at odds with each other. So, what I was trinyg to say is: What do Otters want with a Fire World? What's the point of any strategic-level conflict? Sure there can and should be philosophical differences, but are they so strong that one side or the other would go to war? There may be rare resources, but those are useless if you can't live there to gather them. If the worlds aren't so exreme, its more plausible that the winners could live there when they achieve that victory. I think cross-pollenated races on each of the main planets would raise interesting political, social and roleplaying issues as well. Say, on the Fire world there is a colony of Otters from a war from over 200 years ago. They exist peacefully with the armadillos and would defend the fire planet from invaders. Take a look at the Saxon invasion of England to get an idea of invading cultures clashing and meshing with defenders cultures.

That has got me to thinking. But before I take your advice, I have something to say. Travel through the gateways has an effect on psychology. With one not used to gate travel, it makes the travelers, no matter how civilized, into savages. They perceive things differently, as well. So to each of the species, the other species appear to be demons.

I suppose there would be some attempts to establish bases on the other worlds, but each race has a distinct advantage on their homeworld. While each world is livable to any of the races, they wouldn't stay their long because the environment supports one race over the other. Since any diplomats sent through would be sent into a gate rage, at least without the proper preparations, I doubt they would be able to convince those on the other side not to attack them.

Though things are changing, with the advent of the AI program's and the Gaterunners' influences on the gates, and with the knowledge of magics that render one immune to gate rage, knowledge that would probably be very recent, the races might learn how to function together, even if only with the help of the AI and the Gaterunners.

Quote
Quote
4. It would be a combination of the forces. The higher level characters couldn't have done it alone, nor the 100s who were with them.

  Right, that is the answer anyone would expect from a strategic engagement. BUT, the game is about the PLAYER's characters. In a board game where the player is not invested in the past or future of any one character, it is great to see the interplay between hero characters and swarms. But in an RPG, the emphasis is on the individual and their efforts. I am not saying the war has to be won or lost by them, but that the story you are telling should be ABOUT them.

  I am not sure if I am right, but that was my gut instinct when I saw that. Sounds like there is a lot more in your head that needs to be put to paper, maybe you should concentrate on that for a bit while these ideas fly around the forums?


Oh, there's a very easy way to deal with that. Simply make the players the commanders of the forces. I'm not sure if this is the answer you were looking for, but it's the only answer I can give at this point. Also, you wouldn't just have armies appear on the side of the party just like that. You'd have to raise and develop the army. That is, I'd be making the armies a hands on thing, so that the players aren't just waiting for dices to be rolled and all that, but you get to see your effort put into works, and roll to see how good you comand, and all that.

If there are any further questions about these or any other topics, feel free to ask!
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joepub
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 569

Joe Thomas McDonald


« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2005, 06:15:24 PM »

Starblade, there are two things I want to address quickly:

Quote
6. I haven't even gone into detail about the history, but I have something resembling a history written up. There will be the main quest, the one I described, the subquests, which are personal quests that involve individual characters, and there will be side quests, the typical off the wall quests that are more for exp gaining than for advancing the storyline.

The way this is written (and maybe it is just the word choice, not the intent), it gives me the distinct impression that you are designing a PLOT for the game.
In my experience, albeit limited it is, this is not the way that RPGs are structured. It is the way that video games, strategic games, and board games are developed.

Why have "off the wall" quests, if its just for gaining EXP? Why make higher experience values just so that you have to jump through hoops?

And if there is a main quest, that makes it seem like the game is a win/lose affair. Is that what you are after?

Quote
Oh, there's a very easy way to deal with that. Simply make the players the commanders of the forces. I'm not sure if this is the answer you were looking for, but it's the only answer I can give at this point. Also, you wouldn't just have armies appear on the side of the party just like that. You'd have to raise and develop the army. That is, I'd be making the armies a hands on thing, so that the players aren't just waiting for dices to be rolled and all that, but you get to see your effort put into works, and roll to see how good you comand, and all that.

To expand on this a little bit, I want to offer some further ideas for running wartime characters:
-If you are aiming for a d&d-like game, which your posts lean towards, check out Heroes of Battle. they present different ideas for warbased roleplaying.
-Have the characters be a squadron of men. They fight as a detachment of the army.
-Have the characters be seperate commanders of the units.
-Use characters as specialist troops.

No matter what the structure is, there is one thing I want to stress: Winning the battle does not necessarily constitute a win for the players. If this is an RPG about individual characters, the battle (including its successes) turns into a backdrop and part of the world around them.

If you don't want to, there is no reason to roll dice or narrate anything that the characters don't want to focus on. The 44th division's attack percentage doesn't need to matter to the 23rd division.

Also - Is the game about the individual struggles of the characters?
Quote
Oh, there's a very easy way to deal with that. Simply make the players the commanders of the forces.
I get the sense you are looking at the army's success as integral to the character successes. That isn't the ONLY way to go about it. Maybe it is your top pick, and htat's fine, I just wanted to stress options.
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Starblade
Member

Posts: 48


« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2005, 07:14:58 PM »

Starblade, there are two things I want to address quickly:

Quote
6. I haven't even gone into detail about the history, but I have something resembling a history written up. There will be the main quest, the one I described, the subquests, which are personal quests that involve individual characters, and there will be side quests, the typical off the wall quests that are more for exp gaining than for advancing the storyline.

The way this is written (and maybe it is just the word choice, not the intent), it gives me the distinct impression that you are designing a PLOT for the game.
In my experience, albeit limited it is, this is not the way that RPGs are structured. It is the way that video games, strategic games, and board games are developed.

Why have "off the wall" quests, if its just for gaining EXP? Why make higher experience values just so that you have to jump through hoops?

And if there is a main quest, that makes it seem like the game is a win/lose affair. Is that what you are after?

I was thinking of making it so the game can be played either as the main characters in a predisposed plot, or with the freedom of a regular role playing game in a circumstance different than the Gaterunners. The reason why I have it that way was because I originally designed the game to be a video game, but then settled on making a pen and paper game. At least at first.

As for off the wall quests, those are optional. I will make it so that it's beneficial to do 'off the wall' quests, but not really necessary.

As for the main quest being a win or lose thing, I may make it so you can play after the main quest has been finished. The whole point of a main quest is to change the world or worlds in which you are playing, not necessarily to end the game once you've done it.

Quote
Quote
Oh, there's a very easy way to deal with that. Simply make the players the commanders of the forces. I'm not sure if this is the answer you were looking for, but it's the only answer I can give at this point. Also, you wouldn't just have armies appear on the side of the party just like that. You'd have to raise and develop the army. That is, I'd be making the armies a hands on thing, so that the players aren't just waiting for dices to be rolled and all that, but you get to see your effort put into works, and roll to see how good you comand, and all that.

To expand on this a little bit, I want to offer some further ideas for running wartime characters:
-If you are aiming for a d&d-like game, which your posts lean towards, check out Heroes of Battle. they present different ideas for warbased roleplaying.
-Have the characters be a squadron of men. They fight as a detachment of the army.
-Have the characters be seperate commanders of the units.
-Use characters as specialist troops.

No matter what the structure is, there is one thing I want to stress: Winning the battle does not necessarily constitute a win for the players. If this is an RPG about individual characters, the battle (including its successes) turns into a backdrop and part of the world around them.

If you don't want to, there is no reason to roll dice or narrate anything that the characters don't want to focus on. The 44th division's attack percentage doesn't need to matter to the 23rd division.

Also - Is the game about the individual struggles of the characters?
Quote
Oh, there's a very easy way to deal with that. Simply make the players the commanders of the forces.
I get the sense you are looking at the army's success as integral to the character successes. That isn't the ONLY way to go about it. Maybe it is your top pick, and htat's fine, I just wanted to stress options.

The game IS about the individual struggles of the characters, but it's also about how the worlds are changed. There may be some optional city building in this game. Certainly you can play only to survive the ebb and the flow and the changing political climate and stuff like that, but that might be considered boring to some people. I want people to feel that, at least with the Gaterunners, they are going to have an impact on the world.

I'm planning on making the strategy parts not all the way necessary, but extremely beneficial. That is, you may be fighting for things that are worth fighting for to the party. I like the suggestions you made. I might just make what the characters are a combination of those things. That is, if they are compatible.

I hope this helps. Had I thought longer and harder, I may have come up with more satisfactory answers. If you still have problems with those things, maybe you should chat me up sometime, or send me an E-mail. That is, if you want to know how to contact me. You certainly don't have to do that.
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